Mama was a neat freak.
OK, that sounds like a popular ’60s song — you know, like “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” I never really understood that song and the more I listened to it, the less I wanted to understand. It seemed somehow misogynistic to me.
If you aren’t sure of the meaning of this word, rather than tell you to look it up, I’ll just say look at the letters “gyn” and tell me if that brings anything to mind. OK?
So anyway, as I was saying, Mama was a neat freak. She didn’t get over this ailment till she and Daddy moved to Ruby and she suddenly had a yard big enough to go nuts in. I come by this malady honestly, you see. So, since she was at the clinic working with Daddy every morning and playing in the yard every afternoon, she found the housework going downhill. She discovered what closets were for.
One thing she really didn’t like was dirty windows. She was a so-so disciplinarian, grounding you for two weeks one day and realizing no one was paying her any attention two days later. So the punishment became “go wash the windows.”
I hate washing windows, but I’ll do it if I can’t get anyone else to oblige. Washing windows always makes me feel as though I’m being punished. I could always bribe the boys to wash windows when they were living at home — boys will do nearly anything for pocket money. Easy marks that they were, they have homes of their own now…I wonder who’s washing their windows?
So, I was standing at the sliding glass doors leading onto the porch Saturday and I noticed that I couldn’t see out of them very well. I wondered when was the last time they’d been washed. I am ashamed to admit that I honestly couldn’t remember. Sometime around April 1, I think.
Then I decided I’d best look at the windows on the storm door…the windows in the bedrooms and baths…the living room windows…I thought of the Windex commercial with the magpies and wondered if they’d pay me a visit were I to wash the windows, inside and out.
I love magpies. I miss the ones who lived in our garden in England. They were always stealing anything bright and shiny…they lived in the huge cherry tree in the front garden.
I gathered my paper towels and a bucket with warm soapy water for the window frames and the Windex for the windows. I set to work. I got the house windows first, and then moved to the storm door. All nice and squeaky clean, I then tackled the sliding glass (acre of glass) door. After doing the outside, I started in on the inside.
I took my wad of paper towels and after spraying them liberally, went to work. The paper caught somehow and I jerked my hand forward and then suddenly found myself in pain. Terrible pain. I looked at my hand and the joint where the finger meets the hand was already starting to swell.
“Well, damn!” I whimpered. Yeah, I was being a bit whiny…not only do I hate doing windows, but now this!
Mac came in from the garden and I was sitting with an icepack on my hand. “What’s wrong with your hand?” he wanted to know.
I was scowling, I’m sure…”I think I broke my finger,” I moaned.
He walked over to me and, looking at the swollen finger joint, wanted to know how I had done it. I assured him he would never believe me in a million years and he kept insisting I tell him.
“All right, I broke it washing windows, OK? You happy now?”
I was totally amazed when he said “and what makes you think I won’t believe that? You’ll do anything to get out of washing windows.”
Men. Can’t live with them. Can’t just kill them.
Sandi McBride is a resident of Jefferson who blogs regularly and enjoys her garden and her furry and feathered friends. She is a wife and mother of two sons.